Discovery Park and the University of Kent have signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will see Kent’s leading science park and the University work together in a number of strategic areas including Industrial Biotechnology, Neurosciences and digital and data driven healthcare, increasingly referred to as ‘Tech Bio’.

The MOU was signed on the first day of a three-day Innovation Boot Camp held at the rapidly expanding science park, in which staff and postgraduate students from the University’s Division of Natural Sciences took part in talks and workshops aimed at developing their knowledge of commercialising innovation.

During the Boot Camp, participants heard from senior leaders at Discovery Park and its tenants and undertook interactive sessions focussed on building successful start-ups in the science sector which are attractive to investors.

Discovery Park is already actively engaged with University of Kent’s Industrial Biotech research groups, who are partners in the Growing Kent and Medway Project. The University’s Industrial Biotechnology MSc course has already been identified as adding to Discovery Park’s ability to provide research expertise to the benefit of the IB community.  

Mayer Schreiber, CEO Discovery Park, said: “Signing this MOU creates solid foundations to bring scientific research and companies closer together and strengthens our shared ambitions. Collaboration between academia and business is essential if we are to build on the exciting developments that are coming out of the University’s laboratories. Activities like the bootcamp allows to identify the next wave of start-ups who have the potential to scale up into successful companies, allowing us to expand on our ability to create a Manufacturing Village at Discovery Park.”

Dr Robert Barker, InnovationLead for the University’s Division of Natural Sciences, said: “Discovery Park is a strategic point of engagement for the Biotech community and an important hub for our students and research community as they work to develop their world leading research and innovations. This MoU will enable us all to work more closely together as we seek to address some of the most pressing issues in Tech Bio. It will also enable us to encourage, develop and promote new ventures, as well as retaining talent within our region and disciplines.”

The MOU will cover a three-year period, allowing the county of Kent to build firm foundations in areas of academic scientific expertise, which lend themselves to a rural and coastal bioeconomy and a science park connected via a high-speed train link, to the tech cluster at Kings Cross.